Monday, June 29, 2015

Week Eighty Four in Ecuador - June 29, 2015 - New Technique To Find New Investigators

Family!!! ThIs week was great! We worked hard... really hard, I was tired everyday but it was awesome!
I'm glad everyone is doing well, that makes me so happy to hear that you guys are safe and healthy and loving life :) you and dad looked great in you anniversary picture! Honestly I have the best looking parents! And tell dad his shorts are pretty sick hahaha 

Grandpa looks awesome. Tell him hi for me and tell him that I love him.  

That's so crazy that Davis got home! Tell Davis thanks for saying hi!
And props to jake for winning the tournament.

Alright so now about this week. It was great!!! We invited all the Ecuadorians to be baptized haha and we were sooo blessed! We found a bunch of people that were just ready to accept our invitations.
Fist we made up a new technique on how to find people to teach. Its called the "Can I use the bathroom technique" So me and my companion both had to use the bathroom way bad and decided that we would ask someone to let us in to use their bathroom and then we would sneak in a quick lesson while the other person was using the bathroom. It worked pretty good. So we both used the bathroom and explained a small lesson. The greatest part was that after we finished and were leaving he thanked us for teaching him haha it was great, we also thanked him a lot for his bathroom :)

Next technique was the "free food technique" So we eat lunch with a lady that doesn't have male members of her family living with her so we always have to bring a member to eat with us, but on Thursday we didn't have a member so we used the technique of trying to invite someone to come eat with us off the street to obey the rule of having an adult with us. We asked like 6 different guys until finally we found a guy that was 20 to come with us and eat. Haha...we also taught him a lesson during lunch so it worked out pretty good! 

We also had a reference this week, from a member that is a little bit, well he's not all there in the head but he's cool. And he is like 70 years old and he gave us a reference of another old guy who is 82 his name is G. and he accepted to come to church and to be baptized but not only him but his whole family who are like 6 in all! We taught them yesterday after church and wow it was such a powerful lesson. We were probably there for 2 hours just talking and answering their questions. I felt the spirit so strong, to be able to testify that our church is true. And the lady that was making the questions, said I feel like I have more questions but from the way you talk about what you know they go out of my mind and I feel like what you're saying is true. She said I want to follow God and I think what you've told me is the truth. Her daughter and her dad have baptism dates for the 25th but hopefully soon the whole family can progress together to get baptized! I need your prayers for them. 

Now lastly this week I have been studying a lot about the conversion. And what it truly means to be converted to the gospel and as a missionary how we can show to God that we are converted to this work. First in the scripture guide in spanish it explains that conversion cannot come before baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. So we talk a lot about baptism but that's why, because without it someone cannot truly be converted.   Now lot of times as members of the church we have a testimony but we aren't trully converted. For example when someone bares their testimony and says "I know the book of mormon is true." Or when some says "I know the book of mormon is true because everyday I read it for an hour and I feel God's hand in my life as I search his guidance through the scriptures." A lot different right? Well anyways to be truly converted we have to both know and act. And the same goes for a missionary; if you want God to see that you are converted you have to show him that you want the salvation of others and you have to work hard! Alma 29:4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. 

If we show him our desires he will help us succeed in every aspect of our lives!

 Love you all,

 Elder Lignell                Me and Elder Smith...Looking Good :)

                                                             Preparing for Any Weather!
                                                                A Recent Investigator
                                              Ahhh...Nothing Like American Food :)

                                                      City Where We are Working in Guayaquil

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week Eighty Three in Ecuador - June 22, 2015 - Always Improving

Hey family!

Well another week down in Guayaquil! And its been an absolute blast. Me and my companion are working crazy hard and it's been exhausting, but so very rewarding spiritually, emotionally and well not really physically cause I'm wiped out!! haha  

Thanks for your email I'm gad everybody is doing great! I can't believe Davis got home... that doesn't even seem real. I hope his homecoming goes well you'll have to congratulate him for me.  

Glad jake had a good time at EFY. And at least he's got his hopes set high by having a crush on his counselor, it's better than just settling haha :) 

That's too bad for the Williamson Family. You'll have to tell them that I always loved being around Boyd, even though he didn't talk he just had a nice light about him that I think everyone could feel.

Alright now about my week, so it's been great. We truly have been working hard, but it's been crazy because with me and my companion we have an extra companion named Elder Hunt and he is stuck with us right now because he doesn't have a companion but he does have his own ward to work in, and obviously we can't just leave him alone to work, so he always has to be either with us or we have to drop him off with a member and pick him up after. So trying to be zone leaders and work with the other missionaries and in our own area and also in his area all at the same time is super crazy, but we're figuring it all out. We had a few baptisms this week with Elder Hunt and this Saturday we're going to have a few more.

 We had the baptism of a couple that are about to get married named J and E, the crazy thing is that J is 14 and E is 18 and they are going to get married!! This week they are going to try to do it, and on Sunday they got baptized!!! It was amzing because the mom shared a story that after she had been baptized she began to pray that the rest of her family could also get baptized. And it was sweet because yesterday those prayers that she said got answered! 

We also have an investigator named C and she is an older lady who has been going to church with us for the last few weeks. She has a problem with her knees that makes her hurt a lot. I'm pretty sure she said it was arthritis, but I'm not positive. Anyways the first time she went to church she explained that her knees were killing her and that right when she left to go home she layed down in her hammock and said a prayer to god asking him if he could take the pin away and right after her prayer she felt relieved and from then on knew that the church was true and that she had to continue to go. We are trying to help her to get baptized this saturday!!! I'm stoked. 

Also in this last week, I've been talking a lot to my companion and we talked a lot about the mission, like why we are here, and what God expects from us and like what we can become in these two years if we really are diligent and faithful. And I came to the conclusion that God needs us to change! Always! It doesn't matter what point we are at in our lives, but we can't stand still we always have to be improving. A lot of times in life we are going backwards and God is the only person that can help us to turn around and start going forward again to truly change. If we don't use God and if we don't understand the atonemnt of Christ, we won't be able to change, we won't be able to move forward and the devil will have more power over us. "The only thing that is constant in life is change. If we want to have success we have to be willing to change, in order to reach our highest poential."
​God always wants us to be better and he will always be willing to help us succeed.  Ether 12:27

                                            Recent Baptisms :)

Love you all,

Elder Lignell  


Monday, June 15, 2015

Week Eighty Two in Ecuador - June 15, 2015 - A New Companion From Utah and One of the Greatest Weeks of My Entire Mission.

Hey family

That's sweet that everyone is doing well! Tell Dad to have an awesome Father's Day.  I'm looking forward to working on the jeep with him and doing all sorts of projects with him when I get home.

That's awesome that Jake is going to EFY! I cant believe it's summer and that Davis is coming home soon...

Now, about my week, this week has been one of the greatest weeks of my entire mission. So first off, yes I still am zone leader and I got switched to a zone that is also here in Guayaquil called Puerto Nuevo. So all of the seniors are hanging out in new port right now, I'm also in new port, just the spanish version hahaha.

My new companion is from the United States! wooo hooo a  Gringo! haha It's sweet to have a comp from the United States and he was born in Utah. His dad lives by the old mill and his mom lives in Tennessee and so he spends half the year in Utah and the other half in Tennessee for school. And I'm pretty sure he's the best companion that I've had so far. We get along way well and he's way obedient and he loves to work. That is honestly nothing more I could ask for! I'm way glad I got to stay as zone leader. There are a ton of new missionaries here and it's sweet getting to know them all. Our zone is a lot bigger now;  there are 18 missionaries and it is the zone that has the most success in the whole mission! They baptized 52 people here in one month about a year ago. And the president today told us the he thinks we can beat it. So we gotta work like crazy! 

Anyways in my old area this past week, one of my investigators that I found got baptized! She is super awesome. I was so happy to hear that she got baptized!

We also had a crazy cool experience this week. We went to another area to help them with one of their investigators that was going to get baptized and her mom at the last minute decided that she didn't want to give her daughter permsion to get baptized. So we had to go and help the other missionaries get the mom to sign the baptismal sheet. And we had a 4 hour and 30 minute lesson with them explaining why she should let her daughter make that decision.  It was insane... we just kept giving examples, sharing scriptures and for nothing she wanted to sign that paper. We were praying like crazy to get her to change her heart and after 4 long hours she accepted. It was sooo amazing to see her change just a little by little and I was shocked to see her hand at the end, sign the paper. Miracles do happen, and prayer works. Honestly I was just about to throw in the towel and walk out of the lesson but something made me stay and wait.

We worked our butts off this week and we were sooooo blessed! I'm stoked to keep working here with my companion and I know we are going to have so much success. Oh and there is some crazy virus that is going around here in Guayaquil called the chikencumbia or something like that. You get it from mosquitos that bite you and it makes you have bone pains and all your muscles hurt and your face inflates like a balloon, and everyone is getting it... but I'm holding strong I still haven't gotten the chikencumbia :)

Love you guys!

Elder Lignell

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week Eighty One in Ecuador - June 8, 2015 - A Simple Testimony

Dear Family,
Thank you so much mom for the box I can't wait to get it!!! You guys are the best.  

Tell Jake I'm proud of him for surviving another year of school! Only two more to go before he graduates!  

So glad that everyone is doing well. Wish everyone the best from me. 

Now about my week. We worked super hard and we found a ton of people this week. It was amazing just how much God has blessed my companion and I. We have found so many people who were just ready to recieve us and who have so much faith. For instance we found a family the C. family who are a mom and dad a girl who is 11 a son that is 8 and twins that are 4. We taught them one time and invited them to go to church. On Sunday the whole family went to church. However on Saturday night it just so happened to be a birthday of a family member that came over to their house and brought alcohol but the dad told me on Sunday when he came over, "I remembered that you  had told me that satan would put obstacles in my path so that I couldn't go to church so I decided not to drink because I knew it would not help me go to church on Sunday! so cool :)  

Then we baptized D. on Sunday after church (yesterday). He is the greates kid. He has soooooo much faith it is unreal. He had only been to church those 3 times counting the day of his baptism and after he was baptized he bore his testimony saying that he had read a little bit of the Book of Mormon and he felt that it helped him to be a better person. He said he liked to go to church and decided to get baptized here because he saw changes for the better in his life. Wow, it was such a cool testimony because it was real. He didn't say a bunch of really big words or talk about every part of the gospel. He simply explained what he felt and what he knew. I'm so greatfuñl to have been able to see him recieve these blessings in his life. And now I've just gotta help him so that one day he can be a missionary too. :) 

Well all in all I'm happy. I love my area that I'm in and even though I have like 5 months here and it's like the most dangerous part of Ecuador, I hope I don't leave soon. I love the people here... they are so amazing and I hope to be able to help so many more!

 Thanks for all you guys do!

Love, Elder Lignell                           My Notes From A Meeting
                                                The Baptism of "D"
                                        Getting Ready for the Baptism ("D" not pictured)
                              Elder Narro (my companion) with D. and I on D's Baptism Day
                          I'm just a little taller than every one so I have to lean down :)
                                       Yes, I'm the tall one on the left :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week Eighty in Ecuador - June 1, 2015 - Keeping A Positive Change In Our Lives

Hey family.
All is well down here in Ecuador and my new companion is great! We work really well together and I'm doing great with my health...I feel fine. 

No worries about the packge, and I don't know if you'll be able to if not don't worry but I would love a small package of protein powder if you can to stick in. :)

Alright well now I'll talk about my week a little bit. It was great and we worked hard this week and spent  lot of time visiting the other missionaries and doing small divisions with them to get to know who they are working with and in what ways we could help them to work better. It was interesting and I had the opportunity to go with my old companion Elder Quintero from Colombia and work in his area. And it was so wonderful.  We put 2 new baptism dates and helped a guy get ready for his baptism that will be this next Saturday. It's awesome to be able to work with the other missionaries and be able to see people that literally just get put in our path when we look for them. And it talks a bunch about that in D&C 123: 8-17.   

In our own area we have a kid that we found named D and he is soooo awesome! He imediately accepted the challenge to be baptized and has come to church twice now! It is so cool to find people that just have faith. They listen to what we say with real intent and they follow the impressions that the Spirit gives them. A friend went up to D the first Sunday afrter he went to church and told him not to go back with us again because our church was false and that he wouldn't be following God if he goes. D responded that he felt good inside and that he knew it was the right thing to keep going back. It was so awesome to hear him explain to us that he felt good and knew what he had felt came from God. The world needs more people like D!!

 This week I have been studying a lot about change and how we can keep a change for ever. It all depends on our ability to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit which means to be meek humble and repent daily, doing those things you will be receptive to the Spirit and that Spirit will stay with you and guide you to keep the change that you've had. :) 

Love you all so much wish you the best in all that you do!

Elder Lignell